July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012

Sorry I Missed It: Girls

I’d always planned for Girls to be a summer catch-up show. Not least because I’m not an HBO subscriber. But also because it seemed like the sort of frothy Junior-Sex-and-the-City bildungsroman that would work so well with long summer evenings and Diet Cokes with pink umbrellas in them.

Girls, of course, is so much more than that, but I think the comparison to Carrie and company is a good place to start. You have the earnest writer, the chaste prepster, the wild child, and the sane-but-boring one. They live in New York. They have struggles related to work, romance, and ekeing out a living in the Big Apple (but Brooklyn, not Manhattan).

But, of course, these are women born in the 1980s. They (we) barely remember a time before the internet, are concerned with text message etiquette, and count on our parents for emotional and fiscal support. That last one is the catch for Girls’ main character, Hannah, you see. For she’s found that following her dream of becoming a writer is financially incompatible with the cost of living. Even in Brooklyn. And her parents are being SO UNREASONABLE by not agreeing to give her $1100 a month. The way Hannah sees it, $1100 a month is a small price to pay in order for your beloved daughter to become the voice of this generation. (Or even the voice of *a* generation, as Hannah accedes is probably more likely.)

Becoming an adult is kinda scary. And while it’s tempting to write Hannah off as a selfish, entitled little twit, you end up empathizing with her, even if you aren’t also someone who also spent her first quarter century subsidized by Midwestern parents. It’s not a totally realistic show; of the four leads, only one appears to have an actual job, and that’s as an art gallery receptionist. (Whereas the women of SatC at least had identifiable and lucrative professions.) Nor am I a fan of Hannah’s boyfriend, who some describe as “hipster Mr. Big.” Ugh. But the dialogue is good, and the show’s muted colors make me think of a less-precious Wes Anderson. It’s like life through a nostalgic filter. And isn’t that really what the transition to adulthood is?

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: